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La Jolla wedding planner to be featured on WE Network

Melissa Barrad makes her debut on “The Wedding Planner” this weekend

Melissa Barrad is one of four wedding coordinators who will be featured on episodes of “The Wedding Planner,” a tux and gown reality show on the WE Network, on Aug. 31 and Sept. 21.

Barrad, who owns I Do…Weddings!, said representatives from WE Network approached her about being featured on their show last year around the holidays after learning about her online.

The series debuted in June, with each episode showcasing two weddings.

Before filming could start, Barrad said the network had to get clearance from everybody: the bride and groom, their families, the guests, vendors, service providers and the venue owners. Once the logistics were handled, Barrad went about her business, trailed by the technical staff.

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“I literally had my own camera crew following me around,” Barrad said. “It definitely took some getting used to.”

Barrad said it seemed like the crew focused on behind-the-scenes footage, trying to capture the ambiguous nature of wedding planning.

Barrad, who lives with her husband Brett in La Jolla, has been in business for five years. She combined her love of weddings with her background in marketing and special events to create I Do…Weddings! She started by doing a few complimentary jobs and asked her clients to recommend her. Word of mouth is her primary means of advertisement.

“I said, ‘If you like me, tell a friend,’” Barrad said. “That’s literally how I started.”

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As a wedding consultant, Barrad helps with everything and anything related to the couple’s special day.

“Think of me as a concierge. I’m here to help with every detail,” she said. “I think the most helpful part is having someone you trust, a point person.”

Barrad said she has one guiding rule: Neither the bride nor groom should lift a finger on their wedding day. She said she tried to free up the parents and bridal party so they also get to enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime celebration.

When it comes to planning the actual event, Barrad described her style as “out of the box.” She likes to help couples find unique locations such as private homes, theaters, museums and resorts. One of her weddings even included a petting zoo.

“I haven’t been stumped yet,” Barrad said.

She coordinates about 35 weddings each year and said La Jolla is one of her favorite places to work.

“I love doing weddings in my ‘backyard,’” she said. “There are so many great spots in this area.”

A new trend that Barrad has received requests for assistance with is proposal planning.

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“There’s so many ideas out there, and I think the bar has been set to high - for everything having to do with weddings,” she explained.

Barrad said she hopes to see an increase in business after the show airs. Because of the lack of certification in the consultant industry, she said reputation is everything.

To learn more about I Do…Weddings! visit

www.sdweddingplanner.com

or call (858) 405-7244.

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