Sweetly Paired specializes in the planning of weddings that are mostly destinations, but also happen in the Denver Metro area. We are based in Colorado. We love our destination weddings, and work for our clients to find the best of all vendors to make their dreams come true! The wedding should be a reflection of the couple and the budget, and we are happy to make the two things meet in the middle.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced while planning an event and how did you overcome it?
I think that our biggest challenge – though there have been many – was probably the weekends of the floods in 2013 in Colorado. We had several events displaced, and we worked with our networks of vendors, venues, and professionals to re-home events within 1-3 days of the event. We had a 2-hour drive turn into 6 hours, and made it there in time… by planning ahead for all the possibilities. You can really build an event plan that is ready for any issue.
What are 2 trends in the event planning industry that you’re excited about?
OOOOH, color coming back is the biggest! We’re seeing an upswing in bright, fun colors, and we’re SO excited about it.
I’d say the other is micro weddings. We are seeing a big push for small, intimate gatherings that are super detailed and awesome.
What are some tips for creating an elegant and memorable event on a tight budget?
Make every decision without emotional attachment, and choose the things you choose based on impact to the guest experience.
If you had unlimited resources, what would your dream client and event look like?
My dream clients are the ones who really do give us lots of free reign in the design department and listen to our advice. Our perfect client is one with a good healthy budget and an open mind. We don’t have a ‘perfect wedding’ – just perfect clients and events that are reflective of them.
How important are your relationships with vendors and what are some ways that you successfully cultivate and ensure good rapport?
They are paramount. I laugh all the time and say that I could plan a 6 figure wedding in a week if the client let me make all the decisions… but it’s true. I know everyone in the industry, what they do best, and what they need to be their best onsite.
I constantly network with my preferred vendors, and in doing so, I maintain those relationships. I also send the RIGHT clients to my vendors… not just any clients. I know what they are looking for in a client, and I’m able to tailor my recommendations to them.
What advice would you give someone who needs to plan a fundraiser but isn’t sure where to start?
Hire a planner who specializes in that field!
What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?
We are about to hire one additional full-time planner, and I’m excited to see my little team grow!
What inspired you to launch your own company in the event industry? How long did it take from initially having the idea to setting up and starting to attract a client base?
I had two businesses start pretty close together, and the first sort of fed the second. I began a flower shop in 2010 out of my garage. We did 16 weddings in our first season… and 125 our second season. We grew out of 2 spaces in 12 months and were soon doing several hundred events a year.
I began planning as I noticed that when there wasn’t a planner, it was a mess, and my team was doing that job anyway – so we started offering planning services to our existing clients. It took off and I split the businesses and sold the flower shop in 2017. I have been planning full time since 2014.
What’s the first event you can ever remember planning and how did it go?
Well, it was a wedding, and it went wonderfully. It was at a venue that I had worked as a designer (floral and event design), and I knew the space well. It was set up for success, and it spring boarded my career!
What are some things you wished you knew before starting your businesses?
Accounting sucks, Sales tax is a pain, and it is SCARY… just keep swimming!
What’s the most surprising or unusual request you have ever received from a client and were you able to fulfill it?
Well, we’ve had every imaginable type of couple. I’ve had clients ride in on horses (yes, the bride too! – She rode in to Bonanza!). I’ve had SCUBA weddings and top-of-mountain weddings. I’ve had a bride and groom ski away from the ceremony at the top of Vail Mountain. You name it! I did have one big NOPE… we had a client in the middle of fire season in Colorado ask to send off those floating firey lanterns that ‘burn themselves out’ in the national forest. Ha. That was a GIANT no.