E Grace Design is a dream come true. Through hard work and determination, Elishia Townsend has had the honor of planning and designing hundreds of weddings and events in Maine and throughout New England. With more than 16 years in the wedding industry, Elishia’s passion for floral design blossomed into a love of event planning and coordination. She has a true passion for making her client’s visions come to life.

    By Elishia Townsend, Owner of E Grace Design

    I’m thinking about hiring 
a wedding planner. 
Where do I start?
    A wonderful event has occurred…you’re engaged! If planning your big day feels overwhelming, or you simply don’t have the time to put your vision into action, it might be time to consider hiring a wedding planner.
    You need to find the best planner for YOU. Just because your best friend thinks her wedding planner was simply amazing, it doesn’t mean they’re a good fit for you and your big day. Below is my step-by-step guide to hiring the best wedding planner for your special celebration:


    • What is your vision for your special day? When you close your eyes and envision your special day what do you see? Make a list of the colors and location as well as the emotion you want to evoke.

    • Decide on a budget. This can be hard work, but it’s absolutely necessary.

    • Do your research. Find planners who are familiar with the location of your wedding, have captivating websites, and look for references.

    • Set up a meeting with each of your top three picks. This can either be in person or, if distance is an issue, over Skype or FaceTime.

    • Come up with a list of questions to ask. See this as an interview where you get to learn about each one and see if you click.

    • Pay attention to the following:

    1.     Are they able to handle all of the aspects of your special day?
    2.     Could you envision spending the next few months working closely with this person?
    3.     Were they open to hearing YOUR ideas?
    4.     Did they give you their undivided attention?
    5.     Did they answer all of your questions?

    • Once you have interviewed each candidate, talk it over with your partner and choose the best fit for you! Then celebrate! Your wedding planner will help you truly enjoy the process of planning one of the biggest days of your life.

    I’m having trouble 
choosing a wedding venue. 
Do you have any advice?
    I have worked with hundreds of couples over the years, and I was able to help each of them find the perfect wedding day venue. This is hard work!

    Working with a wedding planner can make this decision easier. If you’ve hired a knowledgeable professional, they will be able to guide you through the process of finding your dream venue. If you’re planning your own wedding, here are some topics I suggest you and your partner ask yourselves in order to narrow down your search…


    • Look and style. Figuring this out will help you decide where to have your wedding. For example, if you’re going for a city chic feel, you wouldn’t want to get married in a rustic barn. If you’re planning a casual affair, you probably don’t want to celebrate in a grand ballroom. 

    • Location. Maine has a bevy of options when it comes to locale. Are you envisioning your event by the ocean, mountains, or lake? In a city, farm, backyard? Hotel ballroom or rustic barn? We really do have it all, so making a decision on where you want to hold your celebration is a huge first step.

    • What type of experience do you want your guests to have? Some people want to offer their guests a weekend away, and thus hold their weddings in popular vacation spots that have a lot of activities outside of the wedding itself. If most people are local, perhaps hold your wedding someplace that’s easy for them to get to.

    You’ll also need to take into account the number of guests, the dates available, and your budget. Narrow your list down to your top five and schedule tours of each. Make sure you ask what is included in their wedding packages and if there are any additional costs. Here are some other questions to ask:

    • How late can your guests party?

    • What, if anything, do you need to rent?

    • Can they run the bar or do you need to hire another vendor for that?

    • Food choices?

    • Lodging options?

    Choosing your venue is oftentimes the hardest decision to make, but know all the other wedding planning decisions will fall into place once you’ve made up your mind. Always remember that your wedding day is YOUR day! Stay true to yourself and your wedding day will be a beautiful experience for you and your loved ones.