Given my corporate background in supply chain, I’ve always liked to orchestrate plans with a lot of moving pieces. Weddings are not that different! In 2004, my entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and BodaMaestra was born in Monterrey, Mexico in partnership with my Puerto Rican friend, Emily. In 2006, my entire life took a turn when I got married and ended up moving to Northern Virginia. I took a break from weddings as my kids were young, but the desire to plan was still there. In 2010, I started to familiarize myself with the wedding industry in the D.C. Metro area and, shortly thereafter, BodaMaestra was relaunched!
The idea of catering specifically to the Latino market here in the U.S. came about as I was planning my own wedding and wanted a Spanish-speaking officiant. This was essential for my husband and me, as we wanted my parents – who are from Mexico and don’t speak English – to feel like they were connected to the ceremony in a special way. As a Latina bride getting married outside of my native country, it was this experience that made me realize the intrinsic value of incorporating your own cultural identity, language, and traditions into your wedding no matter where you are trying the knot!
Since 2010, BodaMaestra is a Bilingual Wedding Planner that has been serving modern Latin-American couples in the Washington, D.C. Metro area and Northern Virginia. Saying that, approximately 30% of our clients aren’t Latino! We’re proud to say that couples from all walks of life love the work we do and are happy to hire us. Incidentally, most of our clients are referrals from past clients or are referred to us by venues where we’ve been preferred vendors for several year
The wedding planning journey with my couples starts from the moment they reach out to me. Nothing makes me happier during the process than providing reassurance that things will work out. If a client has an unrealistic expectation, I make sure I breakdown the reasons why something may not work as they might have imagined. Another element that is key is putting together the wedding vendor team. I match my client’s personality with the vendors I know will best fit their vision. Likewise, venue shopping is critical! Once I help couples determine their priorities, needs, and style, I’m able to recommend several venues where I can see them having an amazing wedding.
When I do design work, I present couples with options I think they’ll love, depending on a preliminary questionnaire that gives me an indication of their likes and dislikes, as well as the vibe they’re going for. When working on wedding coordination, there’s no small detail. A wedding day has multiple components, and my job is to anticipate potential issues prior to the big day. If I haven’t worked with a particular vendor before, I make sure I get to know them ahead of time. As we put together the wedding timeline, we place an emphasis on vendor management so that everyone knows where, when, and what to do at any given time of the day. I want to make sure all vendors succeed at providing a great service for our clients, and when they do, we all look good as a team!
Photo credit: Molly Lichten
Above all, I think the most important thing is to have good chemistry with your planner (and that’s actually true for all other vendors as well!). When you interview planners, make sure you have a special connection with him/her. You and your planner will be working very closely together, so you should get to know each other well and you should be able to have open and honest communication with him/her so that your expectations are fulfilled. Also, you may come across different price points as you compare planning companies, so make sure their experience is validated by previous couples via their website or reviews/blogs. Beginner planners will have a small portfolio and less experience (which is fine – we all started somewhere!), but make sure you feel comfortable with their level of expertise.
I love to witness the moment when my couples say, “I do.” It’s such an emotional moment when the deal is finally sealed. I often tear up! Also, seeing my couples’ big smiles at the end of the day is super satisfying, as this tells me we did great a job for them.
Photo credit: Molly Lichten
Make decisions as promptly as you can. Waiting to make choices may cause you to lose, for example, the photographer you wanted or the date you really wanted to book your wedding. When this happens, you’ll start from zero! I often say that finding the venue or your dreams or that vendor you’re looking for should feel like that amazing pair of shoes you just have to have (I just so happen to love shoes, so I hope you can relate!). Lastly, relax on your wedding day! Have fun. Learn how our Holistic Wedding Planning can help! Your entire wedding team is eager to serve your needs and make you happy.
After a decade of working with couples, Esme wanted to create a service to cater specifically to the emeveryday life, we provide our couples with guidance to help them remain balanced and at peace during their wedding planning journey. We do this by offering guided meditations, affirmations, and Reiki.