Planning The Perfect Wedding
Wedding planner Sandra Williams with
bride Bessie and groom Pablo
Sandra Williams was chosen by the producers of the national TV show How Do I Look? to be the featured wedding planner in a segment for the E Entertainment/Style Network - and she can’t contain her excitement. On the show, a couple will get a makeover and then be married on the NCL Pride of Hawaii cruise ship.
“My husband teases me about how thrilled I am about my 15 minutes of fame,” Williams gushes.
She says her wedding planning company, Finishing Touch, was chosen after the producers compared several websites. Williams places a lot of focus on her web-site design, which showcases the look and the ambiance of the full event. She matches the linen, chairs, flowers and the organizational logistics into a symphony for a special day.
With adrenaline rushing, she flew to Los Angeles to find out more about the couple, Bessie and Pablo. Williams asked the producers to find out what the couple does for a living, what their favorite colors are, and where they like to shop. Armed with the couple’s personal details, she called on some businesses with which she works to create the cake and do the photography and the flowers.
“Planning a wedding is so emotional,” explains Williams. “It’s important for them to know they can leave the little details to me so they can enjoy the ride of all the ups and downs, and the drama. They are getting married, and that’s the most important thing.”
Williams went on the seven-day Hawaiian Island cruise with the cast and crew of 50 to experience the inner workings of a television show. She coordinated the rehearsal dinner, and the design of the courtyard villa where the couple was married. Williams’ assistant, Rebecca Parrill, also helped with the arrangements. The show is expected to air Dec. 9.
If that brush with fame wasn’t enough, she also will be a featured coordinator for a dinner event on a future OC-16 Entertaining in Paradise show.
Her first event experience came when she was at Chapman University, where she coordinated week-long theme parties for her Phi Sigma Sigma sorority to recruit new members. While her degree is in nutrition, her career path led her to coordinating fundraisers, black tie galas, corporate events and private parties. College is also where she met her husband, Moanalua grad Marvin Williams.
When the couple moved to Hawaii in 2003, Williams says she started her wedding planning business because it allows her to be really creative. She’s planned a wedding for just a couple with no guests, and she’s planned a wedding with up to 700 guests.
Williams gets the word out through the Internet, local magazines, and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she speaks Cantonese and Mandarin, which is helpful as she has a mixture of local and visitor clients.
“I can relate to the bride,” she adds. “I got married two years ago, and I’m excited about this event in their life.”
In addition to complete planning, she also can coordinate the wedding details on the day of the event. Her day-of service starts one month prior to the wedding with follow-ups to ensure the couple is not forgetting anything.
“I care for each of my brides,” admits Williams. “I know how important this is to them, and I’m so happy they found someone they love.”
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