Match Made in Wedding Planning Heaven
Event planner Iris Gillon gives couples her expert advice and matches them up with their dream wedding venues—for free.
By Brittny Drye
They say nothing in life is for free. Well, no offense to the financially wise, but if you hunt hard enough, your search may lead you to NYC, where, in an undeniably expensive industry, Iris Gillon offers her creative wedding planning advice for, you guessed it, free.
Because Iris is paid to promote by the actual vendors, couples can cash in on her free advice. “I don’t double-dip,” she confesses. “Most event planners get paid by facilities and they also charge the customers as well. I feel that is unethical so I don’t charge the couples unless they want me to actually show up at the event and run things for the day.” Hiring Iris for her “day-of” expertise costs $3,200 for events in the area. Couples receive her professional orchestration during the week leading up to the big day, as well as the day of, and two assistants at hand to do their matrimonial bidding.
| Iris Gillon
Iris Gillon Music ‘n Celebrations LLC
As any former bride or groom will tell you, having help planning a wedding makes the process much smoother, whether it’s simply consulting or hiring a full-on wedding planner. “At the end of the day, using an experienced person could save you money and give you a better event,” she explains. “The trick is finding a good one who is able to give you the celebration that you want.”
Over the last 22 years, Iris has racked up quite the wedding Rolodex, working with a variety of vendors for, literally, more than a thousand nuptials. She’s created friendly relationships with owners of numerous venues and service providers, and because of those close ties, she’s able to contract negotiations that couples likely couldn’t get themselves.
Along with finding the perfect location and music for your big day, this wedding Renaissance woman helps with even the minutest details. “I write original first dances (music) for couples. I create themes, design looks, creative lighting, and even work with pet family members to walk down the aisle with rings or gifts.”
“Couples can pick my brain as little or as much as they want, without worrying about a fee—I can help them with one thing or 10. They are not locked into a contract and they can call me up until 10 p.m. and I’ll answer their questions about venues, music, live shows, bands and more.”
And no project is too big or too small. “I can do an extremely elegant and extravagant reception with all the bells and whistles, and at the same time, I can also juggle a simple fun gathering with creative ideas to make ends meet for those less financially fortunate.”
With the recent New York victory for same-sex marriage, Iris’s business will surely grow even more in the coming months. Having worked with same-sex couples numerous times, her sole interest is to help partners enjoy their special unions, regardless of tradition, religious or spiritual pathways. She believes everyone deserves the wedding of their dreams, and is doing her best to help make that happen.
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