Wayne · Married on 06/14/2014
If you want someone that will work with vendors like they are using their own check book and keep you more informed more than you may want to be, these are the people to call. We gave Heather a budget and she keep us abreast of where we were every step of the way. She made my daughters wedding day appear effortless (at least from my perspective) even though there were to many details to mention. The wedding was more than I could have ever imagined but if you don't believe me check out the link below. Heather also helped us find the photographer.Sent on 07/24/2014
Jessica · Married on 06/14/2014
Professional, responsive, caring, understanding, definite, organized, sympathetic, confident, and true quality are just a few ways to describe Heather Sala and HJ Planners. My husband and I spoke with a variety of wedding planners but when we met Heather, almost a year ago today, we knew we had found the one who expressed her vision of our wedding exactly as we wanted it. However, we didn't know that we were finding not only the best planner for our special day, but we also made an incredible friend. Heather was organized, responsive, and had great options within our budget throughout the entire process. We picked the full planning package and it was worth EVERY penny.Sent on 09/27/2014
We really appreciated the timelines and checklists and that HJ Planners kept us from searching endless lists of vendors but offered us the best available within our budget and would immediately get additional vendors if we were not finding what we wanted (i.e., I wasn't crazy with my initial hair/makeup trial and Heather had another vendor at my house in less than a week!). We had a lot of bumps along the way with our venue but HJ Planners handled all the contracts with professionalism and the end result was incredible.
Our wedding was BEYOND anything we could have dreamt of and we owe it to the amazing efforts HJ Planners, especially Heather Sala. If you are looking for a wedding planner in the DC/VA/MD area, choose HJ Planners. You will have a wedding more incredible than you can even imagine and they are able to accommodate for a variety of budgets, variety of degrees of planning (i.e., day of/full planning/partial planning), and they build on YOUR vision. We never felt that our ideas and suggestions weren't received. Thank you HJ Planners for your incredible expertise and for making our special day absolutely unforgettable and a special thank you to our amazing new friend, Heather Sala!
Lauren · Married on 05/25/2014
Heather and her team were fantastic. When we first met Heather, we were quickly approaching panic mode after being told all sorts of crazy things about the cost of weddings in Washington, D.C. From our first meeting on, Heather worked to make us feel comfortable and assured us that having the wedding of our dreams was entirely possible and within our budget. Every step of the way, Heather patiently answered all of our questions and worked hard to ensure that the smallest details of our day were planned perfectly. She and her team were extremely responsive to all of our requests and questions, always making the extra effort to deliver what we had requested. Heather and her team devised a monthly schedule and checklist which made us completely comfortable that everything was in order in the year leading up to our wedding day. She introduced us to a caterer that we loved and worked to ensure that our family and friends were well looked after. Not only did Heather earn our complete trust throughout the process, she became a friend. Our wedding was perfect; it was everything we dreamed of and more and there is no doubt in our minds that without Heather we could not have made it so. Big thanks to Heather and the HJ team!!Sent on 01/26/2015
Linda · Married on 05/03/2014
Heather was fabulous to work with. On top of things, and when there was a communication problem with one of her staff, she apologized and turned it around immediately. Highly recommend. She was creative too. We were well treated even though we were a relatively small event.Sent on 06/30/2014
Ashley · Married on 02/15/2014
I worked with Jessica and Heather and their "day of" planning package. They were absolutely wonderful and went above and beyond.Sent on 02/22/2014
They were always responsive to any questions that I had and explained everything to me in detail. They were extremely flexible whenever we needed to meet and have phone calls and would always work with my for the best time. They were absolutely amazing leading up to my wedding day.
The day of my wedding day, I am not sure what I would have done without them. My MOHs zipper split on the back of her dress as soon as she put it on and Jessica was there within minutes with a bag full of everything that we needed and helped sew her into her dress. Jessica did an absolutely amazing job directing the evening and making sure that it flowed with such grace. She cued everyone for speeches, cake cutting and pictures. They are extremely flexible and when I said that I was not ready to cut the cake she simply responded with "That is completely fine we can dance a little bit longer!" When my husband and I did not want to be introduced, she just said, "No problem!". She was absolutely amazing.
At the end of the night, she made sure that everything was packed away and properly and everything was returned us. She was so amazing and I am sad that I won't be able to see or talk to her as often now. I HIGHLY recommend the girls at HJ Planners for everything that you need. That are wonderful and an absolute dream to work with.
Lori · Married on 01/19/2014
When my daughter Robin insisted that it was necessary to hire a full service planner for her Washington DC wedding I had my reservations. I thought that we could surely handle planning it ourselves and couldn't understand why I would need to spend money on a planner. After all, I am a business owner, computer savvy, a good negotiator, and organized.Sent on 05/28/2014
Of course, I hadn't considered the logistics involved. The bride was in the process of moving from Washington DC to Durham, NC for business. The groom, a Naval Officer was living in San Diego, CA, and I (mother of bride) live in SC.
Once I met Heather Sala, I was convinced that she and HJ Planners were the way to go. Robin wanted a Downton Abbey style wedding and Heather, a fan of the series was completely on board. She understood Robin's vision which was to replicate the style and feel of the show without turning it into a theme wedding or costume event. From day one, Heather managed every detail from invitations, flowers and food to making sure the string musicians learned specific music. In addition, she insisted that each vendor familiarize themselves with Downton Abbey so that Robin's vision could be achieved. She even went antique shopping to locate authentic items for the tables and period props for the most tasteful photo booth I have ever seen. Details, details, details! That's what Heather and her staff are all about.
Guests at the wedding have said that it truly was the most beautiful and tasteful wedding that they had ever been to.
I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that Heather and her team delivered everything promised and more!
Brian · Married on 12/13/2013
Amazing ladies. Very professional, very friendly and amazing at what they do.Sent on 12/16/2013
HJ Planners's reply:Thank you, Brian!
kirsten · Married on 11/16/2013
HIGHLY recommend HJ Planners! We used them for our November 2013 wedding & they were phenomenal! We contracted them for the "day of" package (includes the 30 days up to the wedding too), which was absolutely invaluable, and also used them on an hourly consulting basis throughout the planning process, which was such a wonderful option! They are exactly as involved as you want them to be. Personally, I wanted to be very hands-on in the planning process and never felt that this was an issue. Heather guided me through the planning process in an unobtrusive way, promptly answering any questions that popped up and providing advice, expertise, and great recommendations whenever needed. They also have full planning packages and various à la carte options, so you really can get as much or as little help as you want. We could not have survived without them the day of. Our wedding was at the Mellon Auditorium, which is a stunning space, but includes pretty much nothing other than the lovely event space and has a lot of historic building rules and requirements to adhere to (you definitely would not choose it for it's convenience!). Everything you can possibly think of had to be brought in from outside vendors, so there were a lot of moving parts, to say the least. We also had both the ceremony and reception there, which required the ballroom be turned over & totally transformed during cocktail hour. All things considered it was probably not the easiest wedding to pull off, but Heather and Jessica facilitated everything flawlessly! Everything was absolutely perfect! It was so nice that we did not have to worry about any logistics on our wedding day and were able to fully enjoy it!Sent on 04/24/2014
Heather and Jessica are both extremely professional, organized and responsive as well as personable and easy to work with. HJ Planners has great relationships with the vendors and a top notch reputation. I am so glad we had them for our wedding and would highly recommend them to anyone!!!
User3067739 · 2+ years ago
HJ Planners saved my sanity for the 18 months my then fiance and I took to plan our Washington D.C. 2013 wedding. Specifically, Maria, Jess, and most of all, Heather, were a blessing to us as one, then both of us moved to Chicago in the middle of it all. With the move and various family emergencies, job hunting pressures, and overall chaos, Heather kept me grounded and focused. From day one, Heather was friendly, professional, and flexible. She was the only one of the planners I interviewed for the full-service planning I was seeking who took the time to meet me in person and hear me out on my random bride-to-be pinterest inspired flights of fancy. We clicked immediately around non-traditional families and similar professional backgrounds. Heather is a no-nonsense attorney and business owner who demands the same high-level courtesy and attention from the vendors she works with as she provides to her clients. There were many occasions when I or my fiance noticed issues with contracts or proposals; they were handled the same day. The HJ team was very responsive overall, we received answers to our emails, phone calls, and/or texts immediately or as close to immediately as possible. There were a few instances towards the end when everyone on the team got busy with other projects, and I suspect the distance planning became a frustration for all involved. (I may also have been a bit unreasonable, as most brides are a few weeks before their big day). Nonetheless, Heather and HJ helped us find our caterer (Main Event, highly recommend for their impeccable service, commitment to sustainability, and delectable menu options),florist,DJ,photographer, hair & makeup artists, stationary, transportation, and personal requests. Heather and Jess worked the entire weekend and day of our wedding to accommodate last-minute changes and were 110% dedicated to my husband and I. We would without hesitation recommend HJ Planners for full- service wedding planning.Sent on 04/16/2014
Nina · Married on 09/20/2013
Our experience working with Heather and HJ Planners was truly amazing! From the moment we met Heather, we knew we wanted to work with her and throughout our time together she constantly exceeded our expectations. At our first meeting, I felt like I just rambled about random things I liked and what would be nice for the wedding. Heather patiently listened, took notes on her iPad, and at the end somehow summarized my jumbled thoughts into a cohesive vision that was exactly what I had in mind, but couldn't articulate clearly. She literally was able to take my vision for the wedding and make it a reality that exceeded my dreams by providing helpful and honest advice and ensuring the day of the wedding went flawlessly. We were blown away by how organized and meticulous she was, how quickly she responded to emails, and how knowledgeable and well-connected she is with the wedding vendor/venue community. We were able to get great discounts from our vendors just by letting them know she was our planner. I think what I love the most about my experience with Heather is that it felt like we were working with a close friend who could be honest with us and not just say what we wanted to hear, while being incredibly kind and thoughtful. She even had the sweetest care package delivered to our home. Choosing Heather and HJ Planners was one of the best decisions I made… after the groom of course!Sent on 11/20/2013
HJ Planners's reply:Thank you, Nina, for the lovely review! Happy 2014 to you both!
Laura · Married on 09/14/2013
Heather and Maria were absolutely fantastic to work with. I worked with Heather for most of the planning and Maria was the main POC for my actual wedding day. While I still wanted to plan my own my wedding, I worked with Heather to identify a few vendors for each type of service needed. Using her knowledge of which vendors were good and would work with my budget, I was able to make the choice myself but she could narrow down the list of vendors so I always felt comfortable with making the right choice for me. She helped step in when I had some issues with a florist and provided a back-up vendor who turned out to be fantastic. She really helped to calm me down and identify the best way to fix the problem. Between Maria and Heather on my actual wedding day, everything went flawlessly. They were always around but not in your face which made me feel better, in case anything went wrong. Maria even helped by realizing the grooms cake was missing and had it brought out right away. Both of them are quiet in demeanor but take charge as soon as it is needed and made sure everything truly was amazing. I really loved working with these ladies and hope to see them again in the future!Sent on 12/01/2013
HJ Planners's reply:Thank you for the very sweet review, Laura. We were so happy to have the opportunity to assist with your wedding. We hope your 2014 is off to a wonderful start!
Elizabeth · Married on 09/13/2013
I can't express to you enough what a difference Heather and HJ PlannersSent on 10/06/2013
made as DOC for my daughter's wedding . DOC is probably a misnomer as they held our hand throughout the last month and responded almost instantly to every question. I'm not sure anyone enjoyed the evening more than I did and that
is all due to what Heather and team provided . Everything seemed seamless and my daughter was not
stressed in the least. She was able to focus on the joy and significance of the day. It was easily the best
money I spent. Hiring HJ Planners is a decision I would make again with no hesitation. Thank you Heather, it was a pleasure.
HJ Planners's reply:Thank you very much. Best wishes!
S · Married on 09/07/2013
We had a multicultural (African-Asian) wedding at two venues - a beautiful church in NOVA and reception at Oxon Hill Manor under a tent with 220 guests with two caterers, a DJ, a band, and planned it all from out of state. I thought I could pull it off on my own since I had two years to plan, had read every MS wedding magazine, had 500+ pins on Pinterest, read the Weddingbee blog for years and carefully picked out and screened every vendor online. I was so wrong! I did not realize till a couple of weeks before my wedding that I would have been crazy not to have a coordinator. We hired Heather as our day of coordinator but had access to her the month before. She also accommodated us since we were out of state and could only meet occasionally. I loved having Heather. She answered every email right away. I always felt quickly reassured. She was the best investment we could have made. Her prices were very reasonable. I wish I hired her earlier in the process! Right off the bat, she saved us a significant amount of money (even before the contract was signed!). She and her team are worth every penny. I had Heather, her two assistants Kara and Kha on the day of my wedding. She was calm, organized, proactive, never pushy, very patient and so professional through it all. I had boxes of DIY decor with detailed instructions for setting it all up and when I saw the venue before the guests arrived I was completely blown away. There's no better feeling than to see your dream come to life in front of your eyes! The ultimate highlight though, was at the end of our wedding night, my car was completely loaded with all my carefully packed boxes of decor, gifts, leftovers and all I had to do was drive back to the hotel. that was the best thing ever! I fully endorse Heather and her team (Kara and Kha were also very awesome).Sent on 09/18/2013
Thanks so much for making our wedding day stress free and wonderful for us and all of our guests!! - S&A
HJ Planners's reply:Thank you for the lovely review!
User3877288 · 2+ years ago
I was looking for just a day of coordinator as I wanted to do most of the planning myself.Sent on 02/03/2014
Jessica did an amazing job with our planning, and I honestly couldn't have been happier with the way things turned out. She was very easy to work with, and super organized the entire time. The timeline was really detailed, and although I'm sure we didn't follow it exactly, everything we wanted to accomplish worked out just great. I wasn't even planning on doing the bouquet toss, but my friends talked me into it, and somehow through Jessica's superpowers she already knew it was happening and had it with her and ready to toss :)
As a pretty laid back bride, I appreciated her approach to helping make our wedding more so a party than a series of scheduled events (which we were trying to avoid at all costs). She took care of everything, and we didn't have to worry about one thing on our day.
Rebekah · Married on 08/03/2013
I called HJ Planners for "day-of" wedding support about 10 days before my wedding - about as last minute as you can get. Heather responded to my call immediately and connected me to one of her planners - Jessica. Jessica was very easy going and picked up very quickly on how to respond to everyone involved in the wedding madness - me, my mom, my fiance, the broader family, our vendors. She made good suggestions, didn't push, thought ahead and took care of things seamlessly. If you have done the majority of your planning but would like someone to manage all the details and personas on the day-of, I highly recommend HJ Planners "day of support." I am sure their other more comprehensive offers are good too if you need help earlier in the process!Sent on 08/19/2013
HJ Planners's reply:Thank you, Rebekah!
Leslie · Married on 06/22/2013
HJ Planners is fantastic. Maria was my on-site and "month of" coordinator, and made my life so much easier leading up to and on the day of the wedding. There were a few glitches that she handled like a pro, totally taking the burden off my shoulders and making everything run flawlessly. Being a control freak myself, it was hard to let some of the last minute planning go, but I felt very comfortable passing things over to Maria.Sent on 06/26/2013
HJ Planners's reply:Thank you, Leslie!
Clara · Married on 06/15/2013
Hiring HJ planners for day-of coordination services was the best investment we made in our wedding! We planned most of our wedding ourselves, but we hired a day of coordinator to take care of and handle all of the craziness the day of. We worked with Jess, who is so sweet and an absolute pleasure to work with! She is really low-key and approachable and her personality puts you at ease unlike so many other wedding planners that are high strung and just seem to stress you out more. We met with a couple of other wedding planners who intimidated us with to do lists and information that we would need to get to them – the whole point of hiring a wedding coordinator is to alleviate stress, not add to it with more to do lists to make a planners life easier!Sent on 07/08/2013
Jess gave a lot of really good practical advice and has experience working with all kinds of relationship dynamics and blended families. Jess started working with us about one month before our wedding and would check in periodically to see how things were going. She was also there during the rehearsal, and handled absolutely everything! We had a lot of foreign family members and first-time bridal party members, so it was great having her there to direct everyone, explain everything, and answer everyone’s questions. We could not have imagined our wedding day going as smoothly as it did without Jess being there….she was there for anything and everything, and was so proactive in taking care of all the other little problems, snafus, and last minute changes that came up. She put my husband and me at ease and I was able to enjoy all of the little moments without having to worry about any details. My grandma is still raving about her and what an amazing job she did!
HJ Planners's reply:Thank you for the wonderful review!
User3257365 · 2+ years ago
My daughter's wedding/reception was perfect...so perfect... that it still seems like it was just a beautiful dream! One of the best decisions I made as Mother of the Bride was to hire Maria Martinez from HJ Planners as our Day of Coordinator. Working with Maria several weeks before the wedding allowed me to remain calm while helping my daughter plan an out of town wedding. Not only did she make herself available for our many questions/concerns, Maria was instrumental in organizing all of our wedding day transportation needs whether it was shuttles for the guests, limos for the bridal party, or get-away car for the bride and groom. She, also, constructed an amazing Wedding Day Timeline that worked just right. Maria was professional and flexible...working with the other vendors to pull everything together, so that I could sit back, smile, and enjoy every moment of my daughter's wedding! Thank you, Maria! We couldn't have done it without you!Sent on 05/14/2013
HJ Planners's reply:Thank you very much!
Melissa · Married on 04/27/2013
Maria was wonderful! In the planning stages, she was always available and responsive to our needs and questions. The day of our wedding, Maria ensured that everything occurred on time and in line with our plans. I would recommend her to any future brides!Sent on 05/29/2013
HJ Planners's reply:Thank you, Melissa!
Stephanie · Married on 04/27/2013
After I got engaged, I debated whether or not I needed a wedding planner. Like most brides, I wanted the wedding planning process and my wedding day to be stress free. However, I also wanted my wedding day to be my day and full of my ideas and style. I knew that without a planner, it would be me and Google looking for vendors and ideas. Luckily, a friend recommended Heather Sala and HJ Planners, and from the first day I met Heather, I knew working with her would be exactly what I needed to create the wedding of my dreams.Sent on 07/18/2013
Heather is smart, organized, creative and wonderful to work with. She was always on top of everything, whether it was keeping me on track and on-time with my timelines or responding to my thousands and thousands of emails and questions. She always gave me great options for vendors to work with and she was an amazing resource for working with the vendors. I knew that if I had a question or an issue, all I had to do was call or email Heather and she would come up with an answer or a solution. She also was always on top of our budget, making sure the spending was in check and at or below the budgeted amount.
For our wedding day, Heather had created this amazingly detailed timeline for the vendors, so everyone knew where they needed to be and when. When I woke up that morning, I knew that I had nothing to worry about other than getting ready. Heather had everything under control and everything went so smoothly. I had no worries and no stress. All I had to do was enjoy my day. As the day unfolded and I got to see 14 months of work and ideas come to life, it was everything I dreamed of and more. Heather had help me create the wedding of my dreams. Heather had made the wedding I saw in my head a reality. I couldn't have been happier.
I feel so fortunate to have had Heather and HJ Planners to work with through my wedding planning process. I would not have been able to plan the wedding of my dreams without her.
HJ Planners's reply:Thank you so much, Stephanie! It was a pleasure to work with you and to assist with your beautiful day!
User3312919 · 2+ years ago
We were so thrilled to work with HJ Planners. We came to them with all of the larger items in place but desperately needed help to pull it all together. Heather and Kate assisted us with our Day of Coordination and their knowledge and insight were priceless to us. Every email response was received as soon as possible and they meet every question and need that we had. They created the perfect timeline and kept the wedding day on schedule. They truly went above and beyond. Our guests loved our wine selections a little too much and we unfortunately ran out of wine by dinner. They didn't hesitate to offer to make a trip out for more. I was also having trouble with a false eye lash staying in place and they went out to get the glue to fix that. If anything went wrong on my wedding day, I have no knowledge of it. HJ Planners helped make the day absolutely perfect and we can't thank them enough!Sent on 07/16/2013
HJ Planners's reply:Thank you!
User2587601 · 2+ years ago
Amazing service, hired HJ planners for "day of" service which included unlimited month calls and emails. I could not imagine having a wedding ceremony or reception without an organized experienced wedding planner to help you organize the event. I was care-free the day of my wedding and am truly grateful for it!Sent on 04/08/2013
HJ Planners's reply:Thank you!
Joanne and Nicholas · Married on 03/16/2013
My now husband and I worked with Maria, Heather and Kate on our March wedding. HJ Planners are amazing to work with and we can not recommend them enough. They did an amazing job with the day of timeline even though we were sending them changes until the day before the wedding. I think the week before the wedding, Heather was updating the timeline at least 5 times a day due to our email requests. Needless to say, they were all very patient with us.Sent on 03/31/2013
Even though we only requested a day of planner, HJ Planners helped us for much longer than that. Maria, Heather and Kate not only helped us during the weeks leading up to the wedding but Heather and Kate were also there to assist us during the rehearsal. We had a huge Filipino wedding party with Filipino wedding traditions and Heather and Kate were able to corrall us all and get things organized.
As for the wedding day itself, Heather and Kate were absolutely amazing. We had a lot of details (picture frames to be placed around the venue, stationery, wedding favors, etc) that we didn't really go into detail regarding the placement of the items, but Kate and Heather seemed to have read our minds and executed it all exactly the way we dreamed it. Our guests were all amazed at their professionalism and one guest is still raving about how "the one planner with the earpiece tracked down my lotion". lol.
As I told them in an email, my husband and I don't remember much about the details of the day but neither of us were worried because we knew that Heather and Kate had everything under control.
HJ Planners's reply:Thank you for taking the time to share your experience, Joanne and Nicholas! We enjoyed assisting with your wedding day!
Felicia · Married on 03/09/2013
My husband and me now refer to HJ Planners as our Dream Team. HJ Planners provided wedding planning and day of services for our wedding on March 9, 2013. For the bride who is pondering, why do I need a planner? Is the expense necessary? Call HJ Planners first. In our first consultation Heather did not waste time convincing me I needed a wedding planner, she identified areas where I needed help and things I had not considered. She identified possibilities of what I could do within my budget and the time left to the wedding date. The vendors they referred were best quality, superb value and same caliber of service provider as HJ Planners. HJ Planners does not have any slouches in their arsenal. I did not have any problems with my vendors. All the vendors were focused on solutions and making sure our day was perfect. Heather and Maria implemented and executed a well-organized wedding and reception for us and our family and friends to enjoy. Maria came to my house before the wedding just to check in and pickup a few items for the church. When I arrived everything was just as I wanted it. After the wedding my husband said, “those ladies know what they are doing” even he was impressed with how they operated. Since he was at the church before I was he saw them in action. My mom also acknowledged their services. My mom had nothing to worry about at the end of the reception. Maria had the decorations, gifts and cards organized and ready for my mom and brothers when it was time to go. All they had to do was decide which car to put the stuff in. Because they were so organized I was encouraged to keep things orderly through the planning process. If you have a vision for your wedding call HJ Planners, if you don’t have a vision call HJ Planners. We plan to use HJ Planners for future life events.Sent on 03/26/2013
HJ Planners's reply:Felicia, It was so wonderful to work with you and Julian! Thank you for the review!
Nyla Beth · Married on 10/27/2012
When selecting a wedding planner, it's important to know what you need/want. Some we interviewed seemed to sell friendship - we weren't looking to buy friends to help us. Some wanted to use our wedding for their own aggrandizement - we wanted our wedding to be about us, not about the best event to get the planner in magazines. For us, we needed a planner that would maximize the efficiency of the time we spent planning the wedding. 7 months, a budget, and our lofty ideas meant we needed help to shape and improve our vision and then execute all of the research so that we were able to focus on decision making. Frankly, we needed informed legwork to identify options, negotiate, and keep us on schedule. HJPlanners did that and more. As former attorneys and event managers, they were professional, detail oriented, and valuable in making sure that we were not missing the fine print or details. From negotiating contracts through the advice on napkin folding - they covered the gamut of everything we needed to make our wedding a success. They were a perfect match for us, two management consultants, in making sure schedule and vision came together to make one perfect wedding. Although we didn't set out to hire friends or to make an event for page 6, we ended up with a great relationship with great planners who we hope continue to grow in their business ventures!Sent on 11/19/2012
HJ Planners's reply:Nyla Beth and Paul, thank you so much! We had a wonderful time planning with you both!