I am excited to continue growing my business in the international arena and bringing our planning and design with New Orleans personality globally!
Michelle Norwood

Michelle Norwood

Founder and Creative Director

Location: New Orleans, LA

Stunningly beautiful, original, and thought-provoking–your event should be a true reflection of you, your story and the destination you’re marrying in. At Michelle Norwood Events, our specialty lies in creating signature spaces that are elegant and conversation-evoking–uniquely designed to allow the natural beauty of your space to shine through.

It starts with you: your story, your family and friends, and your vision for the day. Together, we’ll design, plan and execute an event that allows the natural beauty of your space to shine through that’s thoughtful (not fussy), unique (not contrived), timeless (but personal). And the overall result? An unforgettable and elegant event that is so you.

Named:

  • Top Planner in the world by Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue
  • Master Planner List by Over The Moon
  • Top Planner by Martha Stewart

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced while planning an event and how did you overcome it?

A power outage as we were lining up for the processional. It was an outdoor event thank heavens. We only needed electricity for the DJ to play the music. Luckily, I had my hot spot and wireless speaker with me.

Ten minutes later we were going down the aisle. You have to be prepared for everything #lifeofaplanner

What are 2 trends in the event planning industry that you’re excited about?

We focus on details that are timeless, classic, and sophisticated – as these will never go out of style – and often shy away from trends, as they become dated.

What are some tips for creating an elegant and memorable event on a tight budget?

Intimate events. Food, beverage, and rentals are a large part of your budget. Cut your guest list and add an abundance of WOW factor!

If you had unlimited resources, what would your dream client and event look like?

Dream client would be Beyonce, hands down. Not an event, however, the production of a concert or visual project. The amount of detail that goes into it blows my mind every time.

How important are your relationships with vendors and what are some ways that you successfully cultivate and ensure good rapport?

Vendor relationships are crucial to building a successful business. My vendors are phenomenal!

I have a great relationship with them and highly recommend them to all my clients as well as have them listed as resources on my website.

What advice would you give someone who needs to plan a fundraiser but isn’t sure where to start?

Fundraisers offer the unique opportunity to have an experience, bring awareness, and raise money. Hiring a planner is crucial.

Networking is key. Speaking with individuals and corporations to secure contributions is critical. Without contributions, there is no way to raise funds. Get comfortable asking for those contributions.

The experience and auction items are what is going to have those invited coming back year after year. Make an unforgettable ball or black tie event and make sure those auctions items are worthy of a great bid.

What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?

Personally – My son is leaving for college and now the world can become my oyster. It’s scary and exciting at the same time for both of us! Dad, on the other hand, is doing just fine.

Professionally – I am excited to continue growing my business in the international arena and bringing our planning and design with New Orleans personality globally! As well as continuing to work with clients that love what we do.

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 launched Michelle Norwood Events as a way to transition from my corporate events planning job to social events and weddings. It was the next natural step for me to take control of my life and schedule.

We booked our first four events within two months of launching and have kept a steady pace of events since. Currently, we travel the world planning celebrations for clients that love an experience and a great party!

What’s the first event you can ever remember planning and how did it go?

A one-year-old birthday party. It was terrible and fine. The clients wanted balloons like from the movie UP, literally, however, to achieve that look we needed a balloon install company and of course, that wasn’t in the budget. So, what was in their imagination and what was realistic didn’t align and they were dissatisfied. Who knew balloons could teach such a powerful lesson?!

What are some things you wished you knew before starting your businesses?

How invested you have to be when it’s your name on the door. You give up working 60 hour weeks for 120 hour weeks. I knew it would be hard work, however, those first three years were tough. It literally consumes your life.

What’s the most surprising or unusual request you have ever received from a client and were you able to fulfill it?

In lieu of a photo booth, they wanted an artist to draw images on-site on iPads. We found an artist and throughout the event, they walked around and drew images of guests. It was a cool twist to a Photo Booth.

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