Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do I need a planner? I can plan my own wedding 

    Sure you can!  Many brides even think it’s fun.  With a wedding planner, you still plan your own wedding… but better!  A wedding planner will not take the options out of your hands but will give you more.  At APSE, we will do the leg work.  If you want an antique car for your grand exit, we can provide you with the information for at least three different companies.  We have already reviewed their terms so there will be no surprise costs or unmet expectations.  So, while you can absolutely plan your own wedding, we can make it a much better experience and save you some headache! 

  • Can I afford a wedding planner? 

    The question is really can you afford not to have a wedding planner?  A wedding planner not only saves you time but also a lot of money!   Even if you do not view time as money, we save you real $$!  For instance, I met with a couple that had one venue in mind, that would have been sufficient but after they hired APSE, we found another venue that they loved, was $500 cheaper, and offered more amenities than the first venue.  How did we do that?  We listened to what they wanted and needed to make their day a success.  Instead of offering them a high dollar venue, we found the venue that was right for them at a price that was right!   We also work with lots of vendors who would like to continue that relationship… so they give our customers great deals! 

  •  Which locations do you serve? 

    We love to travel but we primarily serve the Greater Raleigh-Durham area.  Our service area generally includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Garner, and Wake Forest. However we have gone as far north as Maryland and as far south as Georgia.  We would love to get to the Caribbean or Mexico! 

  • Will you take over my wedding? 

    We will provide as much or as little direction as you need.  If you would like us to plan the entire wedding from start to finish, we will sit down with  you, get a sense of your style, create story boards, and develop a plan for your approval.  We hope to be an extension of your creativity, the voice of hope and calm when you feel like the wedding planning is overwhelming you and we will be the professional that ensures your day is exactly how you envisioned it! You will ALWAYS have final say on your wedding.  We will present you with options, we will do the leg work, we will offer you ides, but ultimately your wedding is your wedding!  

  • My mom is my planner. Why would I hire someone? 

    No. No. NO!  If you are using anyone you would invite to the wedding, you may be making a BIG mistake.  While your mother, sister, friend [insert wonderful person here] may be willing and able to plan and coordinate your wedding, asking them to do so will be a mistake you will most often regret.  You and your guests should enjoy all of the celebration of your day.  You should not be worried about the floral arrangements while you are getting your make-up done!  Everyone should be with you, enjoying you, having a good time!  Let us worry about the DJ, the caterer, the florists.  Let us worry about the placement of centerpieces and the arrival of the limo!  Your mom should be watching you come down the aisle from the front—not watching your back or missing it altogether because the photo booth just arrived and needs to know where to set up for the reception. 

  • I think I want to work with A Paradigm Shift Event. How do we get started?  

    Give us a call at 919.701.9556; email us at; or complete this form and we will be in touch with you within 8 business hours.  We will schedule a FREE, no obligation consultation.  At that time, we will chat a bit to make sure that we click and determine your needs.  I will warn you.  Many couples have scheduled only 30 minutes for this meeting.  I recommend an hour.  I am pretty easy to talk to! I’ll take you through my services to find out what makes the most sense for you, describe my process in more detail, and we’ll find out if we’re a good match. And, seriously, I really can’t wait to hear what your perfect wedding day looks like. Let’s schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” consultation so that we can really talk about your wedding day and how we can create it together  

More Questions

  • What if you’re sick on my wedding day? 

    As much as we hate to admit it, we are human.  We do get sick, have major life traumas and while I would like to fancy myself a super hero, I am a mere mortal.  In the event that I am sick or experiencing some other catastrophic event (which is what it would take to miss a wedding), I will provide the services of a wedding planner with similar or more experience at no additional charge.  I am a member of the Association of Bridal Consultants and we support one another in incidences such as this.   Further, APSE staff holds regular staff and communication meetings so that everyone is up-to-date on the details of all of our events.  So there will always be an experienced wedding and event planner to make sure your wedding is as fantastic as if you and I were there together! 

  • What if you double book my date? 

    It will not happen.  We are a boutique wedding planning company. That means that we are purposely a small company that specializes in individualized attention.  We are not a wedding mill.   We only contract one full service wedding per month.  We want to be able to concentrate and focus our attention on you and your event!  

  • Will you be there on my wedding day? 

    Absolutely.  I attend and personally coordinate every single APSE Day-of or Full Service wedding or event.  I am always excited to be onsite, meeting with vendors, checking on the couple, and watching all the intense planning come to fruition!  While I will be there, I generally have at least one other assistant, most of the time two! 

  • Will you nickel and dime me? 

    We hate that, so we will not do it!  It also makes more paperwork.  We got into this business to plan weddings not create invoices!  To be able to determine which package would make sense for you, we have a free no obligation consultation to make sure we are giving you a quote to meet your needs.   We offer you a detailed list of the tasks we will manage on your behalf. Once we agree on those tasks, that’s the price. If we can provide other services like invitations, wedding dresses, and décor rental, we would be happy to include that in our initial quote.  However, the cost of our planning services will not go up unless you decide you need more of our services! 

  • Will you try to push your highest package? 

    Absolutely not!  We will offer you the package that makes the most sense for you.  If you have everything planned and just need us to execute, if you just need some new and fresh ideas, if you need a shadow planner, whatever you NEED is what we will suggest.  While we have packages, most of the time, we cater our packages to your needs once we know what they are!  If you do not need a full service package, we won’t offer you one!  That is a large reason why we do not post package prices on our website, because many times the package is customized to the needs of each couple.  We want to help make service fees easy to manage for brides of every budget, which is also why we offer automated payment plans, allowing the flexibility to break service fees down into small payments throughout the planning process.  We did not get into this business to make wedding planning unpleasant.   I started this business to make sure that the event planning experience would be different than the stereotypical experience.  It would not be hard, it would not be terribly expensive, it would not be more work; but it would be pleasant, easy, affordable, and satisfying.   

  • Do you get a commission for using your preferred vendors? 

    It is unethical for us to do that.  We NEVER accept a commission for booking with a specific vendor.  We pass any discounts we get to you.  Our preferred vendors are preferred not because they give us commissions, they are preferred because they do great quality work and they are really nice to work with!  Our preferred vendors are people who are pleasant, ethical, professionals.  We love working with other vendors so if there is a company you like and want on your event team, we are happy to work with them.  If we don’t know them, we are happy to get to know them and maybe they will make our preferred vendor list too! 

  • What forms of payment do you accept and do you offer payment plans? 

    We accept all major credit cards, cash, checks, and now Pay Pal Credit.  Once you have submitted a retainer, to make things easier for you, you have the option of setting up automatic payments. We want to take the headache out of wedding planning and by choosing an automatic payment plan, you will never have to worry about remembering to send payment or saving up for large lump sum payments…instead your payments are broken down into smaller more manageable payments.  We will work with you to set up a payment plan that works for you and your financial situation. 

  • Do you cater to specific religions? 

    No.  We plan wedding ceremonies in coordination with your officiant.  We plan your celebration.  Your wedding ceremony is largely the purview of the person conducting your ceremony.  If we are not familiar with your ceremony type, we contact the denomination and your specific officiant to make sure we know what is allowed (or not) to make sure there are no faux pas in your planning. 

  • Do you plan same sex weddings? 

    Yes.  We believe that everyone should be able to celebrate their love.  Love is love.  We are honored to work with same sex couples in making their wedding dreams come to fruition.  As a trained social worker, this is one of the ways that my previous training and current passion collide!  We do not discriminate and will make sure that the vendors we suggest for same sex couples are truly accepting of the couple and their love!  We will be your biggest advocates on your day! 

  • What additional types of events do you service? 

     Anniversaries, Baby Showers , Birthdays, Bridal Showers, Debutante Balls, Eco-Friendly / Green Weddings, Engagement Parties, Graduations, Holiday Parties, LGBT Weddings / Ceremonies, Proms, Sweet 16s, Holiday parties, and Corporate Events including conferences, workshops, and fundraisers.

  • How will you make my event A Paradigm Shift Event? 

    That is what we do!  In this era of, it’s hard for many couples to find a way to make their wedding different.  It seems like everything has already been done and pinned a thousand times! Your wedding should not be a series of pins.  We will help you use those pins as a point of reference to create your own unique imagery and brand.  Well we excel  in creating events that are reflective of your personal style and vision. All of our weddings are tailored to you as a couple, your interests, and specifically the love you have for one another.  We specialize in making your wedding truly representative of you.  What are you known for as a couple?  We take that and make it a part of your wedding day.  Are you sports fans?  Travelers?  Readers?  Whatever makes you special as a couple, we use that to make your event fundamentally different than any other wedding or event!  

  • What makes A Paradigm Shift Event different than other wedding planners? 

    That is a great question because there sure are a lot of planners out there.  But there are few things that make us different.  First, we are a boutique wedding planning company.  We are very intentional about being and staying a small business.  We provide personal attention and we are committed to making your wedding or event experience different than any other.  Not only do we make your planning experience different, easier, and more pleasant than you imagined, we make your guest experience different than they imagined. We help you think of the small things. Then added touches that will show you appreciate your guests sharing this special occasion with you, the unique details that make your honored guests feel honored, and the activities that will make the event exceptionally memorable are our specialty.  We are great listeners, we “hear” your vision, and we work with you to make it come to fruition.  

  • Is there anything you do not do? 

    We pride ourselves in our “can do” attitude.  If there is no very good reason we cannot do it, we will try to make it happen!  But there are a few things we cannot do and you should know that up front.  We are not ServSafe® certified so we do not serve food.  We do NOT tell you about all the mishaps we kept from happening.  We do NOT drink alcoholic beverages at your wedding.  While we will be festive, we recognize we are not guests and will not act as if we are.  We are not florists.  While we are very creative, we are not able to arrange flowers other than putting prearranged flowers in vases.  We know our limitations and operate within our expertise! 

  • What have you done as a planner that a normal person would not do? 

    I have held out my hand to a groomsman so that he could spit chewing gum into it!  I have been in the stall to help a bride go to the bathroom in a ball gown/princess gown.  By the way, there is a secret to it!

  • Who do you work best with? 

     We can work with just about anyone.  However, it is really important that you like and trust your wedding planner.  So choose wisely.  If you do not like us, we have lots of planner friends we can refer.  But it is important to remember that you will work with your planner for quite some time and it is important that you “click.”  Couples that benefit most from working with me would like to get married in 14 months or less and realize they do not have the time or resources to get it done on your own. While we can go as low tech as you need, we are particularly suited for couples who are internet savvy, can navigate internet planning sites, and respond to email consistently.  Most importantly, I work best with couples who are ready to make their dream wedding a reality!  

  • Oh! I forgot to ask! What does the name of your company mean? 

    A Paradigm Shift is defined as a change from one way of perceiving the world to another.  It is a transformation in the way things are experienced.  It does not just happen by chance, but it is driven by a change agent.  A Paradigm Shift Event is that change agent!

    Our goal is to bring our experience, education, and expertise to your celebration to create a one of a kind event. Your wedding or event should reflect your unique personality and style.  At A Paradigm Shift, we design an event that re-creates your dreams and exceeds your expectations within the confines of your budget and other practical considerations.  We provide a stress free day that will allow you to experience your wedding or event in a new way... for you and your guests to have A Paradigm Shift Event. 

 This has been very helpful but I have a few more questions.  Can I talk to you?
Give us a call at 919.701.9556; email us at