One of the first questions that brides seem to ask is...do I need a wedding planner? Well, the question you might want to ask is...can you do without a wedding planner? If the answers to your questions are YES and NO, respectively, then let me introduce you to Heather Bryson and the rest of her staff at Carolina Event Design. Being in the industry for over a decade, Heather can share with her brides invaluable lessons that can't be found in the numerous wedding magazines and books or television shows. This week, we sat down with Heather to ask her a little bit about herself and the wonderful business that she has created.
What made you decide to start your business?
I always wanted to be a ‘party planner’ and at the end of 2007 I sent an email that opened doors and catapulted me into my dream job. I had been in the industry since 2000 in the beauty realm, so I already knew a ton of people.
You have two other planners beside yourself, how did you all find each other?
Erin used to work at an upscale venue that we were partners with and wanted more flexibility with her schedule so she joined our team; and Elle was a past bride with a awesome eye for design and detail and wanted something creative to fill her time as a stay at home mommy.
What is your favorite part of your business?
Having clients trust me whole heartedly with what most call the most important day in their entire lives. If you think about that, that’s extremely humbling.
What differentiates you from the other planners in Charlotte?
From many, it’s our lengthy experience and longevity. To all, it’s our superior attention to detail and we often hear from other vendors that we’re more involved than any other planners they see.
How many weddings do usually do a year?
Typically between the 3 planners we’ll take around 16-18 weddings that incorporate wedding weekend. We do offer two other packages that are of great service to couples along the way however don’t tie up wedding weekend itself. Most of our business is full service, so this is why we monitor our client load...it’s an incredible amount of details and creativity and we want each client to feel like they’re our only one.
What types of services do you offer your clients?
Full service is the most popular...so from saying “Yes” all the way through to the get-away car at the end of the evening on wedding night. We also offer a partial package, a month-of package, as well as a design only package and an hourly consulting option. We really try to offer advice and assistance to couples of every budget range and style.
How long do you typically work with a bride?
9-12 months for full service...but we’ve planned several from beginning to end in just 7 weeks!
What trends do you see with the current brides?
Wanting something out of the box....which we absolutely live for!
What is the most popular wedding color so far this season?
It’s still the soft tones of cream, champagne, gold, and blush...however we dare brides to be different and think outside the lines. We just did one a few weeks ago that was chartreuse green, candy apple red, and splashes of yellow, and some vendors are calling it the most incredible wedding they’ve ever seen! Everyone was blown away by the unpredictable colors. So fun! It’s all about bringing style and personality into a wedding and not being a copy-cat to something you see on Pinterest.
What times of year do you find are the busiest for this area?
Hands down, May and October for the wedding dates themselves, with September and June not far behind. Our busy season starts the beginning of March and slows down around the first weekend of November. Whatever you do, do not do not do not have an outdoor wedding in July or August here in the Charlotte area if you have any care and concern for your guests. It’s miserable although many, many couples forget just how hot it gets here. Your guests will be miserable and they will leave. Promise.
It’s always fun to learn a little about the people behind the business.
What do you guys like to do when you are not working on weddings?
Hang with our young kids and hubbies and during the summer you’ll find us at the pool! with cocktails in our thermos perhaps =)
What’s your favorite restaurant?
Too many to name but our current obsession is food trucks.
If you weren’t a wedding planner, what would your dream job be?
Andy Cohen’s Right hand guru.
What are the five presets on your car radio/ipod?
We are so eclectic with music! Anything from country, to WuTang (Erin), to classic 80s throwbacks, to old school Rock, to TSwift, to Maroon 5. We love all kinds of music!
Finally, from a vendor’s perspective, what is the best advice that you can give a young couple?
Be unique! Have fun and let a planner take the stress of out of planning. Just because everyone else is stressed out planning doesn’t mean you need to be. Our clients have FUN.
If you could tell the brides one thing about your business, what would it be?
We have experience and we’re legit. So many wanna-bes out there who just want to plan a party and don't respect the fact that it's your wedding and money. This is our job and livelihoods. You have to use a planner who’s well respected in the area. That’s key.
I hope you enjoyed our talk with Heather and Carolina Event Design. Want to know more about them and how they can help you with your event, be sure to follow them on social media:
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