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 the Bay Area 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.
1. Ashley Smith
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.
2. Shannon Leahy
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.
3. Amy Nichols
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. Plus, her sister company, The Poppy Group, handles month-of coordination for do-it-yourself brides who need an extra boost right before the big day. With an emphasis on professionalism and stellar planning, Nichols caters to California brides envisioning classic and effortless nuptials.
4. Laurie Arons
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.
5. Alison Hotchkiss Rinderknecht
Alison Hotchkiss Rinderknecht 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, Rinderknecht 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.
6. Downey Street Events
Lauren Geissler and Emily de Ayora first met at Stanford Law School. In 2008, they decided to apply their legal skills to wedding-planning (negotiating contracts! drafting budget spreadsheets!) and they've been in-demand ever since. The pair originally worked together to plan Geissler's own nuptials, and the rest was history. The team behind Downey Street Events takes pride in the company's professionalism and ability to bring client visions to life.