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A tale of two cental Iowa wedding planners

So bae finally put a ring on it. Congratulations! Once you’ve Instagrammed your bling and made it Facebook official, what do you do next?

Planning a wedding can be completely overwhelming and super stressful. Whether you want to throw the party of the year or would prefer something a little more intimate, hiring a wedding planner could save your marriage before it even begins.

We sat down with two local event planners to get some insight on how to plan your big day, and what they do to keep Bridezilla at bay.

Plum Event + Design


Maya Boettcher, 36


Tell us about the services you offer. What makes your company unique?

Plum Event + Design is a full planning and design company. We work with our clients from the idea phase to execution. We try to be the single point of contact for all the vendors involved in a wedding. We help couples stick to their budget and use it wisely. We remove the inevitable stress an event can bring.

What can brides do to avoid unexpected stressors on their wedding day?

My number one stress-inducer is this Iowa weather! If you are planning an outdoor event, have a tent or a plan B. The non-refundable deposit you place on a tent that you may not need is worth it for the sake of your nerves.

For couples that don’t have a planner, ask a friend with strong organizational skills to be your point-person on the day of. Meet with that friend a week before your wedding, talk through the logistics, and have an itinerary that includes all your vendors’ contact information. And buy that friend something pretty as a thank-you!

What’s your favorite wedding trend right now?

My favorite trend would have to be the bohemian bride; lots of flowers, live music and just a laid-back, effortless style.

Do you have any tips for a bride on a budget?

You can have an amazing wedding on a small budget, you just have to be flexible. Food takes up a lot of your budget — think of ways you can stretch it without seeming cheap. Try a brunch wedding or late evening cocktails and dessert reception. Break the rules! You don’t have to have a giant wedding cake and a plated meal. We have lots of suggestions like this to save cash.

What makes Des Moines a great place to get married?

In comparison to other cities it’s relatively inexpensive to hold an event here. Options that include gorgeous historical buildings, a world renown art museum and a beautiful downtown skyline make Des Moines a treasure in my opinion! Also, close relationships in a smaller city with venues and vendors make life easier when it comes to logistics.

What’s the best way to avoid being a bridezilla?

A glass of Champagne and a wedding planner.


Iowa’s Gay Wedding Planner


Scott Coronet, 36, and Ken Coronet, 33


iowasgaywedding and

How did you get into event planning?

Scott: When the Iowa Supreme Court ruled marriage equality was legal in the state of Iowa, I started working with two web designers to develop a website to connect gay-friendly businesses with gay couples. In 2010, I bought the business and started offering wedding planning services to couples who were coming to Iowa to get married. Every year our business has expanded. We now have 3 other wedding/event planners working for us and started another company called Midwest Wedding Planners.

Tell us about one of the coolest Des Moines weddings you've ever planned.

Scott: My favorite wedding was at the World Food Prize for two men who had been together for 18 years. They wanted their wedding to be as unique as they are. We had a 4 foot tall wedding cake, a merman ice sculpture, Champagne during the ceremony and hand-made Belgian chocolate bars with their names engraved on them.

Any wedding day disasters?

Ken: We had a wedding that was booked at one of the most beautiful venues in town. We had planned everything for months and had not missed one single detail. When we pulled up to the site for the wedding rehearsal, the 17-year cicada had hatched that day. The grounds had cicadas everywhere! The sidewalks and trees and exterior walls of the buildings all had cicadas on them. I was just as grossed out as the bride, but I had to get a broom and clean up as much as I could so the guests wouldn’t be crunching on bugs as they walked in! We had to do it all again the next day before the ceremony.

What do you think are the best and worst wedding trends right now?

Scott: Actually, the best and worst wedding trends right now are the same thing — Pinterest! If used correctly, it is an amazing tool. You can find great ideas and communicate them easily with your board. But, there are people who [look at Pinterest] and think they can DIY all their decorations in a few hours with some glitter and burlap. Then, we get a panicked call begging for help because they are in way over their heads. If only we had a dollar for every time we’ve heard, “It looked so easy online!”

Do you have any tips for a bride on a budget?

Ken: Have your ceremony and reception at the same location. Not only will you save on venue fees, you will also save on decorations and transportation.

What is your favorite on-screen wedding?

Scott: I am partial to ‘The Wedding Planner’ with Jennifer Lopez. When I first started doing weddings I was single, and the first question I was always asked was, “So, are you married?” I always used her line. “You know, ‘those who can't do, teach’? Those who can't wed, plan." I’ve since gotten married [to Ken], so I don’t get to use that line anymore!