Planning the wedding of your dreams is an exhilarating experience. Everything from dress shopping to cake tasting can be exciting! And magical! And Instagram-worthy! But, more often than not, preparing can also be a highly stressful, time-consuming process with a seemingly endless list of suppliers to call and decisions to make.
The best way to stay stress-free on your wedding day? Hire a professional planner and hand all of the wedding prep and day-of reins to them. We know finding the right planner can be difficult, so if you're getting married in San Fransisco, consider one of our favorite wedding planners in Northern California for your big day. Whether you need full support throughout the process or if you only need assistance closer to your nuptials, you can rely on any of these pros to bring your vision to life.
The creative genius behind the recently rebranded Ashley Smith Events, this San Fransisco-based planner has officially been organizing weddings in California and beyond since 2010. The business, which began at a hotel in downtown San Francisco, has since evolved into a full-fledged wedding powerhouse that spans the Bay Area, Mexico, and more. With her fresh and modern style, a flexible and creative Smith heavily focuses on design (she's a sucker for clean lines and neutrals) while simultaneously creating memorable experiences solely centered around her clients. Overall, she loves getting hands-on and she aims to think outside the box to produce something that couples have never seen before. Also check out her side business, Iko Space, for rentable wooden structures that would add a cool design component to any California celebration.
Another one of the top, in-demand wedding planners of the Bay Area, Shannon Leahy Events was founded in 2009 with the belief that mapping out a wedding should be an exciting process that reflects each couple's style. With the help of lead planner Elise Johnson, Shannon Leahy uses her incredible attention to detail to apply sophisticated, elegant, and tailored components to each of her events. After planning her first solo event at the age of 16, Leahy has turned her love of entertaining into an art and is famed for her candor and creativity. She also strives to keep her clients well-educated and informed throughout the wedding planning experience.
With more than 15 years of events experience under her belt, Amy Nichols lends her keen, expert eye to weddings and special events across the Bay Area. This planning pro helps brides no matter their point in the process—from newly engaged to nearing the finish line. With an emphasis on professionalism and stellar planning, Nichols caters to California brides envisioning classic and effortless nuptials.
This industry vet has planned more than 900 weddings and events since opening her full-service business, Laurie Arons Special Events, in 1994. (She even teaches wedding-planning masterclasses to other pros!) Arons and her team specialize in multi-day, guest-centric wedding weekends throughout California, and has recently partnered with chef Tyler Florence to enhance the dining experience for her clients. With a steep passion for perfection, she focuses on even the most minute details to guarantee a truly memorable and one-of-a-kind experience for soon-to-be-wed couples.
Alison Hotchkiss of Alison Events is a superstar planner for both locals and celebs—about 30 percent of her weddings are destination celebrations while the rest are held at chic, closer-to-home venues like the Legion of Honor, Cavallo Point, and Durham Ranch in St. Helena. Whether you've narrowed down the wedding venue of your dreams or not, Hotchkiss and her team will work closely with you and your partner to bring your vision to life and pair you with the best vendors possible within your budget.
Chanda Daniels is the creative director and founder of Chanda Daniels Planning & Design. A native of Oakland, Daniels has spent much of her life planning, designing, and coordinating weddings throughout the Bay Area (including but not limited to the LGBTQ+ community). By spending time with each couple and focusing on their unique love story, she's able to help bring their vision to life. Daniels will coordinate your wedding with the creative partners and vendors necessary to fulfill all of your wedding planning needs. Daniels also founded A Monique Affair in 1999 for weddings and event coordination.
Lea Stafford is the founder of Lea Stafford Events, which focuses on destination weddings and events. After beginning her career as an interior designer, Stafford shifted her career into hospitality and events, working for one of the premier catering companies in the Bay Area. Lea Stafford Events is a full-service wedding planning firm that specializes in everything from venue selection to event design. Stafford takes special care in addressing all the details and logistics that are critical for perfecting your wedding day. Whether she's planning an elopement, an intimate gathering, or a lavish affair, she seeks to provide exceptional service each step of the way.
Erica Estrada founded Erica Estrada Design, a full-service luxury event, wedding planning, and design company. Estrada oversees the entire wedding planning and design process, be it floral design, bridal party attire, or the overall aesthetic for your wedding day. Erica’s passion is “bringing her clients’ visions to fruition.” Erica Estrada Design is focused on studying the latest in industry trends to provide the most innovative yet timeless design elements for your wedding day.
Bash Please is a full-service event production company, with offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Bash Please team is comprised of experienced planners and designers who are prepared to handle every aspect of your wedding day. They will pair you with the right team members who will take your wedding vision and bring it to fruition. “Taking cues for the old, the new, the textured, the organic, the unconventional, and everything in between,” Bash Please has developed a strong reputation for becoming a pioneer in artistic and sophisticated events.
Jenna Lam began her career in event planning in 2006, prior to founding Jenna Lam Events in 2012 as a full-service wedding and event design company. Jenna Lam’s team works with you to understand you, your family, and your guests to help design a wedding that reflects all the special people in your life. From wedding planning, floral and event design, and event management, Jenna’s planners and designers set out to oversee the smallest details on your big day so you won’t have to. All the while, maintaining a cohesive vision that's still intimate and meaningful to the client.