Feature Friday // An Interview with a Greenville Wedding Planner

Hi friends! This Friday, we’re doing something a little different – earlier this summer, I had the chance to capture some headshots for my friend and former HWP bride, Christina Alsip, for the launch of her website for her wedding planning business, Lovely Ever Afters! While we chatted over lavender mochas (thanks Village Grind!) we thought it might be fun – and beneficial – to give my readers a glimpse into the world of wedding planning and some thoughts on working with a wedding planner. So without further ado – Christina Alsip, everyone!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

 

Hey there, I’m Christina! I’m an artist with a passion for weddings, and a Wedding Planner with a passion for people. I’m married to a wonderful man who often saves the world, aka is in the military, and was willing to propose to me twice!! (What a keeper, am I right??)
I love summer days right after a rain storm, running through giant fields of sunflowers, and most of all, our two precious pups, Ruby & Zorro. Most days you can find me scoping out wedding blogs, working on a art project, or watching the latest superhero movie/tv show. I was lucky enough to live in Italy for a summer during college, and ever since then I consider myself a gelato connoisseur, particularly of the chocolate variety.

 

What led you to wedding planning?

 

After Jon proposed, I dived into wedding planning and loved every minute of it. The research, visiting stores, meeting vendors, seeing my wedding vision come to fruition, I mean I loved all of it. After we said our I Do’s and came back from the honeymoon, I still continued to follow my favorite vendors, read up on the latest wedding trends, and pin the heck out of beautiful photos on Pinterest. Once I hit a road block with my at-the-time job, I went out on a limb and applied to be a wedding planner with a local company, and was hired.
My first time I coordinated a wedding, I felt like I was in my element! I loved running around, being in the know with all the other vendors, making sure the bride and groom were cared for, and making sure that the day went off without a hitch. It was a wonderful, beautiful God moment. That day I found my calling, and I’ve been chasing after it ever since.

 

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What’s your favorite part of being a planner?

 

That’s hard because I enjoy most of the planning process. I am a people person, so I love getting to know the bride and groom in the months leading up to the wedding. Building relationships is very important to me and it makes the wedding much more meaningful. I’m no longer witnessing “clients” get married, but my friends.
But my absolute favorite part of the process would have to be the wedding day. All of the work, time and energy– everything, has led up to that day and we finally get to see everything come together. I love witnessing the excitement, the joy, the love, the laughter, and finally seeing the peace the couple has with each other at the end of the day. Sending the bride and groom off to their honeymoon, knowing that it was a successful day, is pretty fun too!

 

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Why should couples hire a wedding planner? What benefits does hiring a wedding planner offer a couple?

 

Wedding planner = minimum stress. Seriously. Your planner is in the know of trends, helpful wedding tips, can keep you on schedule with your planning to-do’s and can help you find great vendors that fit your needs, budget and personality. All of this without you having to type one thing into Google. Planners can save you hours upon hours of research, on top of all the time it takes to call/email prospective vendors, and they can find you great deals, saving you money.
Having a Day-of Coordinator (most planners do both), is key in making sure all of the details come together on the day of, without burdening the bride, her mother or any of the families. If something happens with the cake, or someone gets lost, the bride does not need to be the first line of communication. Let the Coordinator deal with the situation, and the bride enjoy the day.
Finally, if a bride doesn’t know a lot about weddings, and she doesn’t have family or friends in the know either, having a planner by her side can make this process fun, not daunting or overwhelming. Finding the right planner can mean having a friend and confident lead you through all of the minute details of planning and help you discover what really matters for the wedding day.

 

 

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How should a couple go about selecting a wedding planner? How do you make sure you’re a good fit for brides & grooms on their wedding day?

 

I want what’s best for the bride and groom, so my best advice is to hire the planner you connect with. If you think about it, the couple is entrusting one of the biggest days of their life to this person, and they are probably making this decision after a conversation or two. You definitely have to like the person and also trust your gut. Make sure that the couple and the planner see eye to eye, and also that the planner is going to LISTEN to the bride and groom. This will help create the trust that will make the day go smoothly. Word of mouth recommendations are extremely valuable because the bride and groom can get personal insight into the experience with that planner. If they don’t know anyone who’s worked with a planner they are interested in, then I would encourage them to ask the planner for a past client’s contact info to reach out and get a verbal recommendation. Detailed reviews on Facebook, Weddingwire or their web page can also be helpful when making the decision.

 

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If you could only offer one piece of advice to a bride- or groom-to-be, what would it be?

 

The guest list is one of the most stressful parts of wedding planning for couples. It definitely elevated my heart rate a time or two during my engagement, and I’m sadden by that now, looking back. I had 90 people RSVP yes, and 84 ended up coming. There were plenty of seats when it came to the day of, but every week leading up to it, I was worried and stressed. My biggest advice is to be wise when making your guest list, but it you have an extra person or two, DO NOT WORRY. There are always a couple of last minute no shows, and it’ll all work out in the end. Promise.

 

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And just for fun… what trends do you see on the horizon for the wedding industry?

I guess we’ll find out one day how good I am this guessing game, huh? haha!
     1. I am loving all of the geode decor, specifically the geode cakes, I’m seeing in blogs and Pinterest out west. I really hope they become popular in this area because they are stunning.
     2. Greenery is very popular in the wedding circuit now, but I suspect that isn’t going away anytime soon. It’s classy, and can be used all types of weddings- traditional, modern, and outdoors, etc.
     3. Copper and Rose golds are pushing the traditional golds and silvers to the side, and making their way to the top of the trends. (Which is fine by me! Love those colors!) I’m thinking they’ll be the metal of choice in the next year or two.

 

Thank you so much for sharing your insight, Christina! Readers, don’t forget to visit Christina over at www.lovelyeverafters.com!

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