Sunday, December 2, 2018

Interview with a Wedding Planner, Why You 100% Need One




Wedding planners are a key player in the most important day of a couple's life. 

They orchestrate beauty from chaos, bringing all the ideas from the past months (or years, if you've been planning since you were 5 like me), numerous vendors, and intricate plans to life. If you think planning a wedding is simple, you're surely mistaken.

Sitting here three weeks post my walk down the aisle, I can't help but reminisce back to that enchanting day. But it's not the flower adorned champagne glasses or my vows that I'm thinking back on. It's Becky, my wedding planner! 

Yes, I may have developed a bit of a girl crush.

If I had one recommendation for anyone planning a wedding, it's GET A PLANNER. 

Like for real, for real. 

How could I not share this wonderful human with boat loads of knowledge with you guys? I knew from the start that I had to ask Becky to be on the blog. 




Meet Becky! Isn't she gorgeous? 

Let's get right to it. 

After nearly a year of e-mails, texts, FaceTimes, and IG likes I feel like you are more than just my wedding planner, but my friend too! I'm so excited to get the inside scoop from you on running your own wedding planning business and how you marry the art and science of creating people's most important days! 

How did you decide to become a wedding planner?

It was actually an accident, haha!  My degree is in Accounting and I started my career back in 2008 as an accountant at a large general contractor firm in Birmingham, AL.  About a year in, I realized that I actually HATED being an accountant.  Luckily the company I worked for knew it too and let me start working part time on corporate events.  That led to girls in the department asking me to help them plan their weddings, and after the first one I was hooked! 

What was it like being an entrepreneur and breaking into the wedding industry? 

It was somewhat difficult.  A lot of people start out in the wedding industry and never make it past 5 years.  It takes a LOT of hard work, networking, drive, and determination to make it in this market.  I was fortunate though to make some fabulous connections with other vendors in my area (even a few other planners!) that really mentored me and helped me when I needed it. 

What are some common misconceptions people have about being a wedding planner?

That we run around on wedding days with a headset, donning a business suit, looking adorable and giving orders like J. Lo in The Wedding Planner.  Being a wedding planner is a lot of fun, but it is HARD WORK, particularly physically. 

 It's also very stressful because our brides are depending on us more than anyone to make sure their wedding day is absolutely perfect. There is a reason why "event planner" is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 most stressful jobs! 

What's your best advice for a newly engaged couple who's unsure where to even begin in regards to planning their wedding? 

Hire a wedding planner! ;) Most brides have never done this before, and we do it all of the time.  Imagine trying to build a house without a general contractor, that's what planning a wedding without a planner is like! 

When it comes to the Becky's Brides team, what qualities are you looking for in those who work along side you in creating people's most memorable days? (I low key want to work for Becky's Brides)

Drive, good personal style, and a positive, willing-to-do-anything-attitude.  I can teach the rest!  I personally think those attributes are things that can't be taught - you either have it or you don't.  




OK, we have to know!! Who is typically the most difficult person to deal with on a wedding day?

We get this question a lot, and it varies!  

Honestly it's usually a vendor, an inexperienced one.  Sometimes we have to work with vendors who don't have the wedding experience we would prefer and it definitely makes our jobs harder.  

We have to micromanage them a little more (and they don't like that), and rarely are our expectations (or our brides' expectations) met. It is worth it to invest in experienced WEDDING vendors! (I can attest that my main source of wedding stress, other than weather, was due to an unprofessional vendor that I personally selected)  

What's one of your favorite or most unique wedding details you've had the pleasure of coordinating?

 I love small details that really make wedding days special. You'll see in a lot of our weddings we try to incorporate champagne displays/bars because we feel like it kicks off the celebration is fun and classy way, AND it's a fun design element.  

My favorite one to date, was YOURS!  Southern Posies adorned each champagne coup with a flower and it was so beautiful and special! 




Can you tell us about a wedding day disaster you've encountered? 

Becky's Brides weddings don't ever have disasters! ;) But I'd say the closest call we've had is always related to the weather.  We've had a few brides chance it with an outdoor ceremony and or reception despite the forecast, and that always gives me major anxiety!! We've been lucky in the past, and now we always insist on a plan B!




What was the style and feel of your own wedding? What did you LOVE about that day? Is there anything you would go back in change?

 I LOVED our wedding day!  It was truly one of the best days of my life.  The weather was perfect, and we were surrounded by our family and friends and we promised to love and honor each other for the rest of our lives. 

If I had to change anything it would be two things: I wouldn't have gotten married in October because it's our busiest month of the year as far as weddings and it was hard to celebrate! 

And I would have had a smaller guest count. I'm all about more intimate weddings these days, and some of our guests we aren't really close to but I felt pressured to invite.  I would have been more firm about that.

Weddings can be quite the financial investment. What are some ways brides can cut costs without diminishing their special day?

Weddings are definitely expensive!  The easiest way to cut costs is to trim the guest list!  It's amazing how much each guest cost. It's not just food and beverage, it's a save the date, invitations, stamps, a ceremony chair, and reception chair, linen, and centerpiece...the list goes on!  So before you add those guests to your list, make sure you want to spend several hundred dollars on them. (cringes inwardly at the people who RSVPed YES and didn't show up to our wedding. No big deal, someone just HAND-CALLIGRAFIED their names in gold ink on an escort card)




Your offices are located in Birmingham, AL, also known as "the Magic City". What's your favorite part of being based in Birmingham?

I LOVE Birmingham!  In the last couple of years Birmingham has really undergone a revitalization of sorts. We have a lot of wonderful restaurants and fun breweries.  I don't think people realize that about Birmingham. It's a cool city without being overwhelming.  I am confident Birmingham will be our home forever!

I love the phrase "community over competition". In an industry that can be very competitive, how do you navigate?

We operate with two thoughts in mind: ALWAYS be kind, and we truly don't have any competition. We are not the right fit for every bride, and that's totally fine!  It's important to us that every bride books the planner that's right for THEM. And that's not always us. Our brides are the ones who value what we do and whose personalities match well with ours.  And those are the brides we want to work with, and who will have the best experience with us.

Do you have any special projects we should know about? 

Going back to how much we love Birmingham, we recently launched I Do Birmingham, a digital resource for brides marrying in the Birmingham area, and a way to show off the best vendors in our city!  We are excited that we get to celebrate even more brides' stories and show off all the Magic City has to offer! 




What sort of aspects help get weddings featured online or in print? 

This is a great question because a lot of our brides really want their weddings featured! There are 3 things that are really important when thinking about weddings getting picked up by publications: 

1. Photography!  There are a LOT of weddings for publications to choose from, so the photography has to be ON POINT.  Every detail has to be photographed, and edited to perfection.  Additionally many publications have a certain style of photography they feature, so if there is a certain publication a bride wants to be featured in, her photographer's style would need to match the publication's photography style.  

2. Details, details, details!  Publications are mostly used to inspire future brides, so they are looking for details, particularly unique details, to be able to showcase.  

3.  A good storyline.  Readers love a good story, so if the bride and groom have a story or details that are special, be sure to share the storyline with the publication.

You just had your first little one! Congrats! What's it like being a full-time business owner and a mom? 

Thank you!  It's challenging!  Our baby girl is 7 weeks old, so right now it's all about figuring out how to fit the previous 40-60-hour work weeks into a much shorter work week. 

I really spent the year evaluating how and where I spend my time and cutting out things that don't serve my family or my business goals well.  I'm a yes girl, and I'm having to learn how to say no to more things that just aren't in line with our goals.  It's a hard lesson, but our beautiful baby girl is so worth it.  

I'm incredibly thankful to have a career that is flexible and allows me to be home with her a lot.




When you're not on-site for weddings, what does your typical work day look like?

We are generally in the office Tuesdays - Fridays from 9:00 to 5:00. 

I like to start my day with some caffeine - I'm not much of a coffee or a tea drinker, but I love a Dr. Pepper to get my day started (completely unhealthy, I know!).  

We spend those days in all kinds of bridal meetings, from design meetings to tastings, to onsite evaluations and beyond.  When we aren't in meetings, we spend our time answering e-mails, working on timelines, working on design plans, blogging, planning out social media content, and more.  

There is a LOT of work that goes on behind the scenes of not only wedding planning, but running a successful business, so there is always something to do! 

On to some rapid fire questions!

Ballgown or mermaid dress? Mermaid

Cathedral veil or blusher? Cathedral

Sweet or savory for late night reception food? Savory (although I have a massive sweet tooth!)

Small or large guest count? Small

Live band or DJ? DJ

Night out or night in? Night in (I'm a homebody!)

East coast or West coast? West Coast - some of my favorite trips have been to the West Coast

Let's talk a little about my wedding day. What was your favorite part of planning it?!

My favorite part was definitely the design elements.  You placed a big focus on aesthetics and I LOVED seeing all of the beauty we worked on together come to life!  Plus you love pink as much as I do, so it was a personal favorite!  I also loved that you kept your guest list intimate so we were able to do some really beautiful personal touches such as the floral adorned champagne coupes and the hand written menus.

What was most challenging when it came to planning my wedding day?

You living so far away! I love to be able to spend more quality time with my brides, so I'm always a little sad when that is limited based on distance. 

(agreed!! We are totally getting coffee, or Dr. Pepper in your case, next time I'm in Birmingham!)

If someone is interested in learning more about your services, what's the best way for them to reach you?

They can contact me directly at Becky@BeckysBrides.com

xo

A huge, endless thank you to Becky for making me feel SO CONFIDANT in planning the day I've dreamed about forever, while also being on the other side of the country!

She made wedding planning fun and so stress free, even with me not being there in person for so many elements.

If you love wedding inpso as much as I do, following Becky's Bride's IG feed is a MUST. It's what drew me to her brand in the first place :) 




If you're engaged or just a fan of weddings, comment below with some questions for Becky! 

Talk soon.

xo

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