Getting Married as a Wedding Pro
Getting Married as a Wedding Pro
As vendors in the weddings and events industry, we work every single day to help create beautiful events. However, that doesn’t mean that when it comes down to planning our own weddings we don’t face similar challenges to someone who has no experience in the industry. The fact that we have seen so many styles and themes come to life can help us get inspired or it can be entirely overwhelming.
Planning my own happily ever after opened my eyes to the possibilities of a career in wedding planning, but I was still brand spankin’ new to the industry by the time my wedding day came around, so I asked a few of my favorite wedding vendors (and now friends) to expand on what it’s like to plan your own wedding when working events is your day to day life!
My name is Taryn Smallwood - I am the owner/founder of b.astonished Wedding Planning. I have owned my business for about 7 years now. I started in the event industry when I was in college at Colorado State University. My freshman year I worked as set-up staff and as a banquet server. Before long I worked for the University in their Event Planning Office. My second year I got an internship with a prominent Wedding Planning company in Denver. I worked my way up from an intern, to an assistant, and eventually a full time planner. I started my company during my senior year of college and have never looked back!
Hello! I’m Allie, Owner and Photographer at Simply Love Photography + Design. Six years ago I fell in love with the wedding industry and haven’t looked back since. I love photographing all the special moments that happen on a wedding day, and the moments that lead up to the big day. Being a wedding photographer means so much more to me than photographing just another day. To me, it’s being invited into the the couples lives, photographing their engagement session where I learn what they love most about each other, then on their wedding day witnessing two people promise to love each other forever in front of their loved ones, and everyone celebrating that love together.
My name is Lindsay Culkin and I am the owner of Fairytale Floral in Englewood Colorado! Growing up I knew I wanted to eventually do something with plants and flowers and ultimately decided a flower shop would be the perfect path for me! I went to school for Horticulture at CSU and jumped at the opportunity to start my own floral company. We are now going on 3 years as a full time business and serve over 40 couples per season.
Did working in the industry make planning harder or easier?
Working in the wedding industry made planning my wedding BOTH harder and easier.
Easy: knowing the vendors that I wanted to work with. Working with different vendors all of the time you quickly learn who the must have vendors are that will make your wedding day a success. One of those vendors for me was Footers Catering - they have such an amazing staff, provide great customer service, and their food is DELICIOUS!
Hard: Being a wedding planner I am all about creating a unique wedding with personal touches. Throughout the year of planning, I constantly came up with new unique ideas that I just HAD to have. I wish I could have just turned off that part of my brain. It was a year of planning 24 hours a day, everyday.
I think working in the wedding industry made planning my own wedding so much easier! I was able to see tons of venues, eat meals from different caterers, work with different florists, planners, DJs etc, all before I was even engaged!
Honestly for me, it is a little of both! Choosing my vendors was much easier than it is for most couples, simply because I work with amazing people everyday and I know their quality of work already without having to do my research into each and every company. However, finding our venue was the hardest part! I wanted ours to be somewhere ‘new’ or less popular while still being unique and beautiful, and ‘us’.
What challenges did you face that you didn't anticipate?
The biggest challenge I faced was being able to "let go". As a planner your job is to notice every single detail, but as a bride it’s your job to enjoy the day. I definitely enjoyed the day and relished every moment, but I did have to remind myself to not get caught up in the little details such as the votives not getting put out.
I think the biggest challenge for me was within the first few months of planning when all of my ideas were just floating around in my head. It was an overwhelming feeling, but I realized pretty quickly that every wedding is different and unique in it’s own way, and as long as I stayed true to the vision my husband and I had that things would work out perfectly.
I never thought I would have such a hard time deciding on specific floral and a color scheme in general, I just have too many favorites and love too many styles!
Did you use vendors that are friends or did you avoid doing so?
Yes, and no. I didn’t feel right about asking friends that I wanted to attend the wedding to also service the day. For that reason, anyone that was invited to the wedding was asked to relax and enjoy the day! (*I hate when friends take advantage of friends - they should be able to enjoy the day with you, not be put to work) We hired vendors that we consider friends, but weren’t necessarily invited to the wedding.
Of course I used friendors! I think the most important piece of advice I can give any couple is to pick vendors you are comfortable around, and you actually like! Of course you want someone that takes amazing photos, creates beautiful centerpieces and plans epic weddings - but if you don’t truly like that person it makes things hard. So, of course I took my own advice..and the only hard part here was not being able to use all the vendors I really loved!
Yes! I love my friendors and am so happy that I finally get to use their services! However, some of our friendors we also wanted to enjoy and have as guests at the wedding, so that was a hard decision to make.
In what ways was planning your own wedding different than working on someone else's wedding?
Planning your own wedding is completely different from planning someone else’s wedding!!! You don’t realize this until you plan your own wedding. Every wedding I plan and couple I work with is so different and requires varying amounts of support, so every day is different. Planning over 20 weddings as a time doesn’t stress me out, but planning your own wedding can quickly become stressful. It gets stressful because your brain is always “on” thinking and rethinking all of the details that will go into your big day. That is just the planner in me!
The biggest difference for me was that I got to make every decision - which was awesome! Usually photographers aren’t really involved in much of the planning process for their couples. ;)
Decisions, decisions. I am usually the one asking all of the detailed questions to my couples, finding out their likes/dislikes, but I never thought about having to answer them ourselves! I realized that I was not one of those girls who had her dream wedding planned in her head very quickly!
Is there anything you would change looking back?
I wouldn’t change one thing!! Everything came together absolutely perfect. We planned our wedding around our guests experience and truly wanted them to have a memorable time. Our guests raved about the food, the venue, the details, etc. All of our hard work paid off!! Most of all we both took in every second of the day…if I could relive it over again, I would in a heartbeat. It was quite literally the best day of our lives.
Looking back there is nothing I would change. I always worried that I’d be sad after our wedding was over (sort of like Monica was after she married Chandler on my favorite TV show Friends) but I love to reminisce our wedding day, re-read our vows, look through all of our photos..and honestly being married is just so much fun that I’m just super happy our wedding day happened already!
So far, not a thing! There have of course been hiccups here and there but we are so excited to have our friends and family celebrate our love with us, I honestly cannot wait until the day is here!
Thank you to Taryn, Allie, and Lindsay and CONGRATULATIONS ladies!