I knew that I had to learn more about Angela Proffitt, when I fell in love with her Instagram. Two years after helping friends from her church plan and design their weddings, Angela Proffitt decided to open her own full service planning company. She plans weddings and events nationally and internationally, along with offering coaching classes.
Today we sat down with Angela to learn a little more about her business and how she got started.
You worked in the healthcare industry prior to the wedding business. What made you decide to start your business?
It was a surprise and I actually had no intention of starting a business whatsoever. I liked my job working in healthcare and psychology and I always wanted to help people. My parents are very involved in the Catholic Diocese and when people in the Catholic Church started getting married, they asked me to help decorate and plan their weddings and I really enjoyed it. About two years later, other people that knew me from couples that I worked with but were members of other churches, started asking my sister and I if we could help them decorate for their weddings and it grew from there. People then started asking if we traveled and could we do destination weddings. I realized that I thought it would be a really good business, so I got a degree from Score and of course my Uncle was in the business and he served as a great mentor. Then I started surrounding myself with people who had a business background because I did not, which was about 15 years ago.
Your uncle worked in the wedding business for over thirty-five years. How exciting is it to follow in his footsteps?
My uncle and I have very different business models. He owned a venue, was a one-stop shop and did everything for the brides, which is awesome, but I get bored very quickly so I prefer to work at a lot of different venues. It definitely has helped having him in the industry though.
You specialize in destination weddings, what made you choose that route instead of working on local weddings?
Again, it really just developed through people asking me via word-of-mouth if I would travel and do destination weddings. After I worked with several different destinations we started to get referred through the venues themselves, which was really great for us. I love the challenge so this was great for me because it was different.
What is your favorite destination as of yet?
Wow, there are so many different ones that I love but I guess I’d have to say that I really love working on private islands. Jumby Bay in Antigua is one of our favorites. They really have customer service down to a fine tuned detail and they make it very easy as a planner and a designer. They are great at helping with the vendor aspect of the wedding, which is really nice.
You also do business consulting and coaching among other things. How do you find time for it all?
I have a wonderful team and I delegate a lot out. I have a great intern program so I have the opportunity to train other professionals and make sure they are a great fit for the company, so it’s just not me. I try to hire people that are a good fit, with some being part-time and some being full-time. The more people that I can get on board, the more time I have for coaching and expanding our business.
How many weddings do usually do a year?
It really varies. The longer I have been doing this, I try to work with a specific client so I know we will work well together. We did under 40 weddings this past year which was a decrease but really it’s whatever God sends us. We like to take the right clients because I also do coaching, business consulting and teaching. I want to help the industry from a technology standpoint.
What types of services do you offer your clients?
We are a full-service wedding planning and design firm and can help the couple with anything they need. We specialize in creating a vivid experience for the clients and we really appreciate the custom detail that the guests experience. We really don’t pull in clients that don’t care about the experience. We try to plan every event based on the psychology of the couple. I use my psychology degree to figure out how this couple is together and why are they together and we put together a party as though they were having all their guests over at their house for a dinner.
How long do you typically work with a bride?
Typically I work with clients within nine to twelve months of their event date. Some are shorter and some are a little bit longer. We have a few brides now that aren’t getting married for two years. Their designs will change in that time but they feel better knowing they have a venue and wedding planner booked. Then they can move on to the photographer and videography, which is important to our clients.
What trends do you see with the current brides?
Most of the brides that we pull in aren’t trendy. They value the timelessness of the events that we plan so that they can look back and not wonder – what was I thinking. I will say that some of my brides still love the chevron pattern. Then there are those that love the sequins, the glam and the glitter that has been around for the past two years.
What is the most popular wedding color so far this season?
A lot of my clients like neutrals. They love the champagne and ivory colors. I do have a few clients for 2016 that love the lilac purples, eggplant, burnt orange and coral colors. I feel like based on this there is going to be more color coming in for 2016.
What times a year do you find are the busiest for this area?
In Nashville, we find that April, May, June, September and October are the busy months with June and September typically being the busiest. In the down time, I plan my destination weddings so we are busy the entire year round here.
It’s always fun to learn a little about the people behind the business…
What do you like to do when you are not working on weddings?
I love to educate myself by going to entrepreneurial conferences. I really love to travel, although most of the time I am doing that for work. Most people don’t know that I like to shoot guns, surf and workout. I love spending time with my family and watch church at least once a week..
What’s your favorite restaurant?
I really don’t have a favorite restaurant but will say that I love Mexican food so there is a restaurant in Nashville called SAINT AÑEJO that I go to a lot.
What are the five presets on your car radio/ipod?
Actually I never really listen to the radio when I’m driving. I’m either on a conference call, listening to a podcast or something educational. I rarely listen to the radio.
If you weren’t a wedding planner, what would your dream job be?
I would love to own and run my own island and I’m actually working on that, so I guess that's not a dream job. I want to be able to control the customer service from every aspect for the client. It would be the happiest island around. But, if I wasn’t in the wedding industry, my dream job would definitely be something in the technology field; maybe teaching apple classes or something similar.
For a bride on a budget, what is the #1 thing a bride should not skimp on?
Pictures and videos are the only keepsake you have after everything is over. It’s the two components that stay around after all the money and time is spent. It helps to capture the people that were there during your wedding who spent time with you and might not always be around.
If you could tell the brides one thing about your business, what would it be?
We are really unique in what we do. We plan and design weddings and events and commit a lot to educating others. We are paperless, which teaches our clients to be very productive throughout the planning process. We are over-communicators and we keep client's stress level down by having a strategy and letting them know what we expect and share that upfront.
Thanks for talking to us today Angela. For those of you that are planning a destination wedding or are in the Nashville area and looking for a wedding planner, think about checking out Angela's site. Until then, be sure to follow her on social media as well.