Vendor Spotlight: Barbara Vanni

Barbara Vanni is the talented wedding planner behind BWeddings. She’s not only a friend, but a trusted wedding planner Preoccupied Bride highly recommends in the Chicago area! Here’s our interview with Barbara.

When did you start your company? 

I founded my wedding planning firm in 2014 when I moved to Toronto from Miami.

How did you get into wedding planning? 

I started my career in the hospitality industry back in Italy about 15 years ago where I had my own company as a personal chef for private events. Overtime I ended up planning the whole thing! This allowed me to have great insight and knowledge from a caterer point of view.

What services do you offer? 

Full planning, design, coordination & management AKA Planner Plus Package. 

Partial planning, coordination & management AKA 12 Weeks To Go Package. 

Month of coordination and management AKA Day Of Love Package.

What couples do you work best with? 

I love working with couples from different cultures, religious backgrounds and all sized weddings. I have done wedding celebrations from 25 to 380 guests! However, I mostly find myself working with couples who are from out of town or are extremely busy with their jobs.

What’s your favorite part of the wedding to plan with your couples? 

I love the venue research and tours as this allows me to really understand the style and vibe my couples want to see come to life on their special day.

What is your favorite part of the wedding day? 

Oh so many! The excitement of the bride waiting to walk down the aisle, the endless wait of the groom by the altar, the tears while exchanging vows and the father & daughter/mother & son dances to name a few!

What is one of the biggest obstacles you’ve face on the wedding day? 

A bride wanted the reception room filled with hundreds of vintage candle holders and battery powered tapered candles that she bought for her wedding and brought to the venue one hour before the starting time (while forgetting at home some of the escort cards for guests without informing me). When I started to set up her personals and décor, I found out that not only did the candles not fit in any of the holders but there were also no batteries inside! My team ran around the venue from top to bottom to gather as many candles as possible, in all shapes and sizes. We just had to fill the room with candles and make it look stunning. During the cocktail hour, half of the guests had no idea where their tables were and the catering manager had no idea what food to serve as some escort cards were missing. Unaware of everything, the mother of the bride took a peek at the reception room and started to scream at me that things were not set up how the bride wanted with her candles and also noticed that many of the guests were coming to me to ask for their seat. She basically freaked out and fumed for a few minutes, but when she noticed the look on her daughter’s face and the guests entering the ballroom taking their correct seats and being served the correct meals with no issues at all, she had the biggest sign of relief on her face. This couple and both mothers left Bweddings with the best review so far. I was called a wedding hero!

What piece of advice can you offer to couples who are wedding planning? 

Be open minded. Sometimes you have a vision, date and color in mind without knowing the endless possibilities in planning an event. Also trust your wedding planner if you hire one!

What piece of advice can you offer to wedding planners who are just starting out? 

Always have a plan B—think of the unthinkable. Be hands on and create great relationships with the other vendors.

Is there any other information you’d like to share? 

BWeddings specializes in destination weddings in Italy, where I was born and raised, as well as Miami, where I lived for five years and the wedding season is all year round!

Monday, June 15, 2020

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